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Fukushima Nuclear Plant Rattled by M6.3 Quake

Posted by feww on April 12, 2011



Another Strong Shock Rattles Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

The latest shock measuring 6.3Mw struck about 53km SW of the crippled Fukushima NPP, and 29km west of Iwaki city at a depth of 10km.

EQ details release by JMA

Occurred at (JST) Latitude
Depth Magnitude Region Name
14:07 JST 12 Apr 2011 37.0N 140.7E 10 km 6.3 Fukushima-ken Hamadori

Distances (USGS)

  • 29 km (18 miles) W (280°) from Iwaki, Honshu, Japan
  • 70 km (43 miles) S (172°) from Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
  • 83 km (52 miles) N (6°) from Mito, Honshu
  • 177 km (110 miles) NNE (25°) from TOKYO

Earthquake Location Map: JMA

Earthquake Location Map: USGS

Note: JPTRMT1 is an acronym for Japan Trench Megathrust Earthquake No.1

Japan Nuclear Disaster Update

Japanese authorities have finally raised the measure of severity of the Fukushima NPP disaster to the maximum level of 7 on INES, officials said in an NHK telecast.

Japanese government’s Nuclear Safety Commission had earlier revealed that the amount of radioactive iodine 131 released from Fukushima NPP had reached 10,000 terabecquerels per hour, for several hours at one stage, a level that prompted classification of the breach as a Major Accident [level 7 on INES, e.g, Chernobyl disaster, criticality accident, April 1986, see below,] Kyodo news reported.

The radiation level has subsequently fallen  to about one terabecquerel per hour, a report said.

“We have upgraded the severity level to seven as the impact of radiation leaks has been widespread from the air, vegetables, tap water and the ocean,” said a spokesman for Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA).

Radiation leaks from the stricken nuclear plant have not stopped completely and could exceed the  Chernobyl release 25 years ago, an TEPCO official said, NHK reported.

Japan’s Triple Disaster: Human Cost

  • Official Death Toll: 13,133
  • Missing:  14,345
  • Homeless: At least 155,000
  • Others: In addition to the above, an unknown number of people in remote areas may have perished, but no records are available as of posting.

The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES)

The INES, a logarithmic scale, which was introduced in 1990 by the IAEA to enable prompt communication, classifies the intensity of nuclear incidents as follows:

7 – Major Accident [Chernobyl disaster, criticality accident, April 1986]

6 – Serious Accident [e.g., Kyshtym incident, Mayak, former Soviet Union, steam explosion released up to 80 tons of highly radioactive material into the atmosphere, September 1957. ]

5 – Accident With Wider Consequences [e.g., Three Mile Island accident  Pen State, U.S., partial meltdown release radioactive gases  into the environment, March 1979.]

4 – Accident With Local Consequences [e.g., Sellafield, UK, at least 5 incidents reported between 1955 to 1979]

3 – Serious Incident [e.g., Vandellos NPP, Spain, fire destroyed control systems; the reactor was shut down, July1989]

2 – Incident [e.g., Forsmark NPP, Sweden, a backup generator failed, July 2006]

1 – Anomaly [e.g., TNPC, France, 1,600 gallons of water containing 75 kilograms (170 lb) of uranium leaked into the environment,  July 2008]

0 – Deviation (No Safety Significance) [e.g., Atucha, Argentina – Reactor shutdown caused by tritium increase in reactor encasement, December 2006.]

Probability of a Nuclear Disaster by Country

The following probability figures are calculated by FIRE-EARTH on April 8, 2011


Probability of a Nuclear Disaster – by Country

on April 18, 2011


  1. The list represents a snapshot of events at the time of calculating the probabilities. Any forecast posted  here is subject to numerous variable factors.
  2. Figures in the bracket represent the probability of an incident occurring out of 1,000; the forecast duration is valid for the next 50  months.
  3. Probability includes a significant worsening of Fukushima nuclear disaster, and future quakes forecast for Japan.
  4. A nuclear incident is defined as a level 5 (Accident With Wider Consequences), or worse, on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). See below.
  5. Safety issues considered in compiling these lists include the age, number of units and capacity of nuclear reactors in each country/state, previous incidents, probability of damage from human-enhanced natural disasters, e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, wildfires, flooding… ]
  6. The  Blog’s knowledge concerning the extent to which the factors described in (3) might worsen during the forecast period greatly influences the forecast.

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